Last October, Angela Espinosa had a pretty big to-do list:
1. Get a digital marketing qualification
2. Study for the first time in her non-native language
3. Find her first job in digital
Six months later she had ticked off every single one. Here's how she made it happen...
Angela moved to the UK five years ago with a background in journalism, radio and TV. She did an internship for El Ibérico - a Spanish-language newspaper in London - then stayed on as contributor whilst also working in Broadcast Services for Ericsson for more than two years. She then decided she wanted to make the move into marketing.
‘I initially thought about doing an MA, but it was too long, too expensive and none of the courses focused on what I wanted to learn in terms of digital and online.’
Then she saw an advert for Squared Online. ‘It fit all my requirements.’
Angela knew the course was the right for her in terms of developing the digital skills that would take her from home study to the workplace quickly, but the language barrier was a still a big challenge to overcome.
‘Doing my first course in English was nerve-wracking,’ she remembers, ‘but it’s what I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone. It was my first leap into the world of online marketing, and the language and the terminology. The initial classes were the kicking-off point for so much of my own research into all the terms, topics and concepts.’
The first module was the most challenging for her in terms of working independently and facing the limitations of her knowledge, but by the start of the collaborative group work in Module 2 she could already see a change: ‘I was growing in confidence in myself and the skills that I did have, at the same time that I was also developing new ones.’
Angela had tried studying online before through MOOCs, but what she wasn’t expecting was how much she’d get from the virtual teamwork elements of Squared Online.
‘The tutors were great, but I had no idea how I would pick up directly from the other students too. I was able to see how people in a wide range of roles in digital did things, and how they worked, and learn from them. People were so generous at sharing their knowledge and experience.’
There was a nice little added social benefit too: ‘At the end of the course my group met up in person to celebrate and watch our graduation ceremony together - and they all helped out me find work afterwards by sending out my CV.’
The hunt didn’t last long. One month after graduating, Angela got her first job in digital.
During the interview for her role as SEO Assistant at global media agency OMD, she discovered an unexpected connection with a future colleague: an SEO Executive on the same team was a Squared Online grad too – not the first time Squares have run into each other at the watercooler.
‘And the great thing was, because he’d done Squared Online too, he knew exactly what I knew – and what I’d learned.’
She sees her current role as the starting point in her digital career: ‘having graduated from Squared Online with that strategic overview of digital, I could have gone into any number of areas. Thanks to that that holistic approach, I understand where SEO fits – and how my role can inform other areas.’
She’s already branching out and starting to combine her journalistic skills with her digital knowledge by getting involved in content marketing.
‘The course has changed my life,’ she says. ‘It’s given me professional and personal confidence. Nothing is going to stop me now.’
If you're looking to develop your career in digital, get course information to find out more about what Squared Online could change for you.